Just as we predicted, Apple has released iOS 6 to the world. If you have a recent iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, this update is for you. With iOS 6, Apple has introduced its new Maps application that replaces Google's offering, a digital wallet in Passbook, built-in Facebook integration with Single Sign On, and an expansion to what Siri can do and help you with. In all, Apple says there are over 200 new features waiting for its users in iOS 6. To get the update, you can grab it over the air (OTA) if you are running iOS 5--just go into Setting, tap on General, then select Software Update. All users can also simply connect their devices to iTunes and checking for the update that way.
iOS 6 is compatible with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, fourth- and fifth-generation iPod touch, iPad 2, and the new iPad. Jump past the break for a rundown of all 200 new features.
If there's one feature to sway AT&T iPhone customers over to Verizon, it's the fact that Big Red has launched LTE in a ton of markets while AT&T plays catch-up. Tonight, AT&T closed the gap a bit with the launch of its LTE network in both Seattle and Portland, two major metropolitan areas that may have otherwise seen a hefty exodus when the iPhone 5 launches this Friday. Being that Gear Live is based here in the Seattle area, we started getting reports from a bunch of readers that their Lumia 900 devices were all of a sudden showing LTE connectivity. Sure enough, we confirmed it with our own unit, and AT&T followed up with a press release letting everyone know that LTE was now live in both Seattle and Portland areas. Readers are seeing speeds as high as 22Mbps down and 12Mbps up.
We've reached out to AT&T for information on just how large the LTE deployment is in these two metropolitan areas, as Verizon definitely has the entire greater region in each area covered in LTE.
Read More | The Verge
If there were any lingering doubts about the success and popularity of the iPhone brand, then allow Apple's announcement of 2 million iPhone 5 pre-orders in the first 24 hours of availability put all of them to rest. Like gangbusters, it shattered last year's previous record holder set by the iPhone 4S, which clocked in at 1 million pre-orders. Yes, the iPhone 5 doubled the previous record. As noted by Gear Live over the weekend, pre-orders slipped to two-week shipping times after just 56 minutes after going live at 12.01AM PST on September 14th. Analysts are expecting 10 million units to be sold by the end of the September month and about 40-50 million more units by the end of the holiday quarter. So the message is clear, customers want iPhone 5. Full Apple press release after the break.
It appears that MacRumors has received word from PrimateLabs about the GeekBench scores for the iPhone 5. Apple's new smartphones will be available to the public when it launches on September 21st. In the words of late Steve Jobs, "It's a screamer!"
Clearly, iPhone 5 has more than doubled expected performance when compared to the iPhone 4S. It blows the doors off previous marks set by all previous iOS devices before it. Also, it remains at the top of the pack even when you include all current Android devices; that includes tablets like Google's Nexus 7, the quad-core ASUS Transformer Prime, and Samsung's new smartphone iteration, the Samsung Galaxy S III (also quad-core.)
Read More | MacRumors
Apple is offering third-party case manufacturers precise blueprint schematics of the iPhone 5 to ensure they are able to make well-fitting cases and accessories. However, antsy case makers went ahead and made them based on leaked information obtained from iPhone distributors and manufacturers; some going as far as using 3D mockups of speculated designs. We are not sure if this is the first time that Apple has gone out of its way to accommodate case makers, but it sure is welcoming to see that users can play dress up without having to ask "does this case make my iPhone's butt look big?".
Read More | Apple (PDF)
The iPhone 3GS is no more. With the announcement of the iPhone 5 came the information that the iPhone 4S would move down the line and sell for $99 with two-year contract, while the iPhone 4 takes the spot previously held by the 3GS, making it free with two-year contract. Don't count the 3GS out just yet though, as its final trick will occur on September 19, when iOS 6 is released with support for the discontinued smartphone.
Analysts from TechInsights are estimating that the bill of hardware materials and electronic components of the iPhone 5 is around $167.50. That's a $35.00 jump from the iPhone 4S from last year, and a significant leap of $55.50 from the iPhone 4. If true, the increase in build costs isn't reflected in the MSRP of the iPhone 4, as Apple has kept the same price points every year since 2010 (with the excepton of the 64GB model, which wasn't available until 2011.)
This goes to the credit of Apple's market leading logistics, which locks in deals for mass supply parts of raw material and components from manufactures purchased years in advance.
Read More | UBM TechInsights
Well, that was fast. iPhone 5 pre-order began at 12:01am this morning, and by 12:56am, the latest Apple smartphone was backordered by a week. Buyers who are late to the game (and by late, we mean an hour late--1:00am Pacific, 4:00am Eastern,) will currently be receiving pre-ordered iPhone 5 units one week after availability, on September 28th. Of course, you can also opt to visit your local Apple, Sprint, AT&T, or Verizon Store on the 21st if you'd rather not wait a week.
Did you pre-order iPhone 5?
If you're hoping to get an iPhone 5 on launch day without having to wait in line, pre-ordering is your best bet, and pre-orders start tonight at midnight. Just make sure you've got yourself some coffee, or get in a nap, because it might be a long night. Based on previous years, its going to be an absolute frenzy, consisting of a lot of refreshing of web pages, crashing carrier sites, losing your spot as servers melt under the pressure, etc. If you're lucky, you'll get through and be done within just a few minutes. Just make sure you know exactly which iPhone you want--color, capacity, carrier, and plan--so that you aren't trying to make those decisions while time-outs are occurring.
You'll be able to place your order in the U.S. starting at 12:01 Pacific Time, 3:01 a.m. Eastern on Friday, Sept. 14. Good luck.